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Bitcoin To Become De Facto Legal Tender In Lugano, Switzerland

It’s not just El Salvador. Lugano – an Italian-speaking city in southern Switzerland – has now confirmed plans to make Bitcoin legal tender.

Not technically, however. The city’s infrastructure and laws surrounding Bitcoin will simply allow it to serve all functions that fiat money can. As a result, it could become a ‘de facto’ currency.

Another Bitcoin Focused Economy

The city’s adoption plans were detailed during “Lugano’s Plan B,” presented by city director Pietro Poretti, mayor Michele Foletti, and Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino. According to a tweet from the latter, Bitcoin, USDT, and LVGA will all become legal tender in the city. Tether is a dollar-pegged stablecoin commonly part of other Bitcoin adoption initiatives. On the other hand, LVGA is a city-specific coin worth one-hundredth of a Swiss franc.

That means people could pay personal, corporate, and municipal taxes using these cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, most public expenses from parking tickets to sewage fees will be payable in crypto. Meanwhile, about 200 merchants in the city are already preparing to accept the assets.

“Lugano wants to be the home of a revolutionary innovation: namely, the one started by Satoshi Nakamoto with his famous and celebrated Bitcoin whitepaper,” said Mayor Foletti.

Part of the city’s “Plan B” is to create a physical venue that operates as a hub for Bitcoin and blockchain meetups.

Another aspect will include two investment funds. The first will allocate $3.26 million to the adoption of Bitcoin, USDT, and LVGA across the city. The second is a far larger $108.6 million going to blockchain startups that want to make their headquarters in Lugano. On the whole, Poretti said they’d be rolling the “red carpet” to Bitcoiners and their businesses to move in with a bureaucracy-free environment.

Worldwide Adoption

So far, the only other regions making headway towards formalizing Bitcoin as legal tender are poor countries, such as Tonga. Therefore, this move may be somewhat surprising coming from a city in Europe, especially since many regulators there have been so hostile to Bitcoin.

“El Salvador’s GDP increased by 10% and its tourism by 30% after declaring bitcoin a legal tender,” said Ardoino. “Imagine what we can do in a city at the center of Europe.”

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The move may put Lugano in competition with other crypto-focused cities like Miami, where the mayor intends to use crypto to make the city tax free. However, even he is yet to adopt a full Bitcoin standard.

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